Fiddlers Three (1944 film)
UK theatrical poster
|Directed by||Harry Watt|
|Produced by||Michael Balcon|
|Screenplay by||Angus MacPhail,
Francis L. Sullivan,
James Robertson Justice
|Music by||Spike Hughes|
|Edited by||Eily Boland|
|Distributed by||Ealing Distribution|
|Running time||88 minutes
(65 minutes USA edit) 
Fiddlers Three is a 1944 British black-and-white comedy with music. The film was produced by Michael Balcon and directed by Harry Watt. The cast included Tommy Trinder, Sonnie Hale, Frances Day, Francis L. Sullivan, Diana Decker and Elisabeth Welch. Making their film debuts were James Robertson Justice, and Kay Kendall near the bottom of the cast list, as the "Girl Who Asks About Her Future At Orgy". The film follows the adventures of two sailors and a Wren who are struck by lightning and transported back to Ancient Rome, where they are accepted as seers.
The film was called While Nero Fiddled on its USA release. It is a loose sequel to the 1940 film Sailors Three which had also starred Trinder. The film was only moderately successful at the British Box Office but proved to be a major hit in Australia.
Tommy Taylor and "The Professor", two sailors returning from leave to Portsmouth, pick up Lydia, a Wren, on the road but get a puncture as they reach Stonehenge. The professor tells them of an old legend that those caught at Stonehenge at midnight on midsummer's night are transported back in time. Moments later the area is struck by lightning. Nearby a group of Roman soldiers have suddenly appeared whom they initially mistake for members of ENSA. However, they swiftly prove to be genuine Romans who arrest them and threaten instant death unless they can prove they are Druids.
Among the musical numbers in the picture, Tommy Trinder gives a stupendous performance as Senorita Alvarez (a fantastic imitation of Carmen Miranda).
- Tommy Taylor ... Tommy Trinder
- Poppaea ... Frances Day
- 'The Professor' ... Sonnie Hale
- Nero ... Francis L. Sullivan
- Thora ... Elisabeth Welch
- Volumnia ... Mary Clare
- Lydia ... Diana Decker
- Titus ... Ernest Milton
- Centurion of the 8th Legion ... James Robertson Justice
- High Priest ... Russell Thorndike
- Auctioneer ... Frederick Piper
- Secretary ... Alec Mango
- Lictor ... Danny Green
- Master of Ceremonies ... Frank Tickle
- Girl Who Asks About Her Future At Orgy ... Kay Kendall
- Lion-Keeper ... Robert Wyndham
- Sky Movies said, "the stars look as though they're having fun, which was just the tonic for wartime audiences, though it all looks less than sparkling now." 
- George Perry wrote in Forever Ealing, "the film is not of great consequence. The script ...Was thick with laboured gags likening aspects of Roman times to wartime Britain." 
- Graeme Clark wrote in The Spinning Image, "played with a mixture of cheeky charm and a sly wink from the cast, and notable for its casting of black singer and actress Elisabeth Welch in a refeshingly non-stereotypical role for its day, if you catch the references then you should have fun with Fiddlers Three. Yes, it's nonsense, but it's nonsense well done." 
- Time Out called the film a "cheeky wartime British comedy with odd imaginative touch (associate producer Robert Hamer reshot a good deal of it)." 
- Reid, John. Films Famous, Fanciful, Frolicsome and Fantastic. Lulu, 2006.
- "Fiddlers Three Review". Movies.tvguide.com. Retrieved 2014-03-13.
- "Fiddlers Three - Sky Movies HD". Skymovies.sky.com. 2002-05-23. Retrieved 2014-03-13.
- Reid p.53
- "Fiddlers Three 1944 | Britmovie | Home of British Films". Britmovie. Retrieved 2014-03-13.
- "Fiddlers Three Review (1944)". Thespinningimage.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-13.
- "Fiddlers Three | review, synopsis, book tickets, showtimes, movie release date | Time Out London". Timeout.com. Retrieved 2014-03-13.
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